Last night Mistress and I went out with another Femdom couple. The conversation briefly touched on vanilla men with dominant/alpha personalities and it got me thinking about a post I made recently about men and women in the lifestyle: Kink, Society, and Emotional Damage.
Men are highly driven by the expectations of other men. I believe that throughout most of their developmental years (read as: school), men are taught to run with a pack. There's an alpha (leader), the beta (the leader's right hand man), the pack (followers), and the omega (the butt of the joke). The alpha sets the tone and the rest of the pack follows suit. Men are taught to mimic the behaviors of the alpha. The alpha learns "popular" behaviors from outside influence (TV, magazines, etc.).
"Good" male behavior involves having sex with (many) beautiful women, doing whatever you want to do, and always appear powerful and in control. Not all men really want to do to this and not all men are completely capable of doing this, but it is important to continue this image in order to maintain his place in the pack.
In his private life (family, one on one with his lover, etc.) the same man may be tender, sensitive, caring, loving, and good-natured. In his public life (with the pack) he must project all of his expected behaviors and is constantly pressured to be insecure about being happy with his private life.
For anyone that isn't the alpha, the appearance of dominance is an appearance projected to impress other men. For anyone that isn't the alpha, they are already accustomed to submitting to a more powerful being. I believe this is why you find men that appear super in control and dominant in with their public face, but immediately become docile and submissive around a prominent figure in their life that doesn't make them feel insecure about their role with other men (e.g. wife/girlfriend, mother, etc.).
Removed from the pressures of the pack, I think there are a lot less dominant/controlling men out there than people may believe.
That doesn't mean that dominant men don't exist, it just reduces their headcount. The alpha male does exist, but I think there are two types of alphas.
1. The natural alpha. He is ambitious and takes control from the get go in pursuing what he wants.
2. The nurtured alpha. His male father-figures/role-models have deeply ingrained insecurity within his psyche. He is driven to behave dominantly in order to avoid shame and ridicule and to always appear like a manly man.
This is not to say that natural alphas don't have a nurtured side, but in most cases, the bulk of the nurturing that has helped him develop his alpha characteristics has been through positive reinforcement.
Nurtured alphas are more common. They are usually somewhat insecure and are often out to prove themselves. Men/boys who are big on hazing rituals, bullying, and the like are usually of this type. They want to appear in control so that no one knows they are scared and often dislike themselves deep down. They have become a product of the pressures of outside influence. If their well-laid plans derail, you can expect a meltdown or tantrum, often followed by giving up on the original plan. While they may appear dominant, I don't consider this a natural dominance.
Natural alphas are rare but they do exist. They are usually charismatic and have many enviable characteristics about them that set the bar for what other men want to be. They are cool and in control. These are the types that bounce back strongly from failure. I consider these types to be the one kind of man that is naturally dominant.
A quick summary:
-There are less truly dominant men than people often believe. Men removed from the pack usually drop the appearance of dominance.
-For many men that exert dominant characteristics, many of these men are driven by insecurity.
-A handful of men are naturally dominant.
I have purposefully ignored special cases such as mental illness and sociopaths. I am happy that the Male Dom role exists so that a safe outlet can exist for their desires and they don't end up as serial killers.
Women are a bit different.
Mothers tend to take a much more active role in shaping a girl's expectations of the world and who she is supposed to be. Both mother and daughter are at the mercy of society's pressures, norms, and expectations that they often conform to. The effects overall are that a woman is often subjected to greater pressure of "who she is supposed to be" at an earlier age and this affects them for much of their lives. However, as society changes and relaxes its expectations of women, each successive generation of women seem to be more open to their potential as individuals while the male stranglehold over society and career fields gradually dwindles away.
As women begin to view their lives as being (at least partially) under their own control, ambition becomes a largely motivating factor. While they still face constant outside influence attempting to keep them insecure, women are growing increasingly more secure with themselves over time. Want to play sports? Go for it. Want a rewarding career? Go for it. Want to call the shots for your family and your future? Go for it.
This is where I see the greatest divergence between the dominance arising naturally in men vs. women. Male society has trapped itself in a motivation by shame, trial by fire attitude. Female society has begun to self-motivate with views of freedom, ambition, and fulfilling one's potential.
The end result is that women often reach a point where they know exactly what they want and exactly the path they want to walk to get it done, without the need for an alpha-based hierarchy to give them a benchmark for comparison.
I think this is why we are seeing more naturally occurring dominance in women while this is reserved for only the most capable and secure men.